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GRDadof3

One Grand Rapids area zip code is one of the top 20 hottest selling in the country...

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This study particularly looked at millennial buying patterns. And that zip code is...... ***drum roll*** 

Kentwood - 49508???

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/realtorcom-ranks-the-hottest-zip-codes-for-2016-300332324.html

http://research.realtor.com/hottest-zip-codes-2016/

29268024114_c60a63b8da_z.jpg

 

Anyone else surprised by this? 

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

This study particularly looked at millennial buying patterns. And that zip code is...... ***drum roll*** 

Kentwood - 49508???

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/realtorcom-ranks-the-hottest-zip-codes-for-2016-300332324.html

http://research.realtor.com/hottest-zip-codes-2016/

29268024114_c60a63b8da_z.jpg

 

Anyone else surprised by this? 

Cheap Housing, Decent schools. Not super surprised. Since most of the new housing in the city is for rent, and millennials are still buying in the suburbs at a pretty large rate, it makes sense.

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I was somewhat surprised, but as mentioned above, housing is very reasonable. Kentwood is a first ring suburb so it's somewhat more urban then Caledonia, Rockford, etc. I'd say it would be most attractive to milennials when compared to Walker, Wyoming, or Jenison.

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Here are the results of an MLS search, 63 homes and condos for sale:

http://www.grar.com/search/04447744/0

The two biggest parameters that put 49508 on this list is the low number of days on the market (almost 60 days lower than the national average), and number of web hits/views each listing gets. Enough so to put 49508 in the top 20 in the country. 

You certainly do get larger yards in this area, and the homes are not as old as in many of the city of GR's neighborhoods. And it's convenient to most of the metro (close to 131 and close to M-6). 

 

 

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So do you think this is from a starter home perspective?  Or is it possible that Kentwoods understated diversity may be attractive, and we might be seeing some reinvestment in GR's inner ring maybe?

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11 hours ago, MJLO said:

So do you think this is from a starter home perspective?  Or is it possible that Kentwoods understated diversity may be attractive, and we might be seeing some reinvestment in GR's inner ring maybe?

Yes, starter homes for sure. You can get a lot of home for under $150,000, and that price of home on an FHA loan with very little down is affordable for families making $40 - $50,000/year. And the area is relatively safe, I believe. I don't think people are moving from the outside suburbs into that area, they are moving laterally from apartments in Kentwood, Wyoming, or rental homes in GR. The diversity of Kentwood Schools (vs GRPS and every other district) is probably attractive to many families too.

It is good to see these older suburbs gaining traction again though. They're already plugged into the infrastructure (water, sewer, streets, etc.)

Ottawa County is still the reigning king of new home building permits though, so it's not like there's been some cosmic shift in the space time continuum going on or anything. :) The least expensive new home you can get these days is about $230 - 250,000. Unless you go WAY out to Wayland or Sand Lake. 

 

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Not sure I'd go so far as to say it's relatively safe.

I'm not surprised that this zip code has the bulk of the increase in the area with relatively stagnant wages being the theme of our statewide economic recovery and real estate in nicer areas skyrocketing to unaffordable levels. Kentwood is dirt cheap to live in because once nice neighborhoods north of M6 have gone to crap. Rentals line most of the main arteries, and the city has more apartment complexes and duplexes than any other in the area (hence the nickname Rentwood).

Honestly...You couldn't pay me to live in Kentwood unless it's in Crystal Springs. Beyond all of that, their roads and traffic are awful. There's a red light every 10 feet and it takes 20 minutes to drive an otherwise 5 minute distance.    

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14 minutes ago, GRLaker said:

Not sure I'd go so far as to say it's relatively safe.

I'm not surprised that this zip code has the bulk of the increase in the area with relatively stagnant wages being the theme of our statewide economic recovery and real estate in nicer areas skyrocketing to unaffordable levels. Kentwood is dirt cheap to live in because once nice neighborhoods north of M6 have gone to crap. Rentals line most of the main arteries, and the city has more apartment complexes and duplexes than any other in the area (hence the nickname Rentwood).

Honestly...You couldn't pay me to live in Kentwood unless it's in Crystal Springs. Beyond all of that, their roads and traffic are awful. There's a red light every 10 feet and it takes 20 minutes to drive an otherwise 5 minute distance.    

I couldn't agree more, but I have a feeling that a lot of people on this forum have the luxury of being able to choose alternative areas. Just a hunch. :whistling: 

LOL, I also hate driving through Kentwood. I hadn't really thought about it until you said that. I also hate driving through parts of Wyoming. They didn't make their Michigan Left Turns big enough and I always feel like I'm going to curb it. And it's either Kentwood or Wyoming that doesn't put their manholes flush with the pavement so you bang into each and every one. 

 

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Purchased a few homes in 49508 in 2011, one of which I live in.  Notwithstanding other people's perceptions there are nice areas with homes selling at a torrid pace.   The capital appreciation I've witnessed in my properties has recouped ever dollar in mortgage payments (and then some).

My only regret is not buying more back then.  

edit:  49508 includes portions of Grand Rapids

Edited by arcturus

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I would love to see the values in that area start to rebound.  I've owned a duplex in this area for 15 years (it was my first home) and I lived there for the first 6 years.  I bought it at $159k, which at the time was a very good price for the area.  It went up in value for a few years and then crashed during the Granholm years.  It has slowly been increasing in value the last 5 years but the comps in the area are still in the $110k to $140k range.  The crime in the area has gotten a lot better and it does seem like the other rental owners are starting to fix up the many rundown duplexes in the area.  

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Just now, arcturus said:

Purchased a few homes in 49508 in 2011, one of which I live in.  Notwithstanding other people's perceptions there are nice areas with homes selling at a torrid pace.   The capital appreciation I've witnessed in my properties has recouped ever dollar in mortgage payments (and then some).

My only regret is not buying more back then.  

I was hoping we'd hear from someone who has actually purchased there. 

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20 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I couldn't agree more, but I have a feeling that a lot of people on this forum have the luxury of being able to choose alternative areas. Just a hunch. :whistling: 

LOL, I also hate driving through Kentwood. I hadn't really thought about it until you said that. I also hate driving through parts of Wyoming. They didn't make their Michigan Left Turns big enough and I always feel like I'm going to curb it. And it's either Kentwood or Wyoming that doesn't put their manholes flush with the pavement so you bang into each and every one. 

 

Oh yes...I'm one of those people too and even I wouldn't choose to live there ;)

Wyoming is notorious for the manhole problem. Take a drive even through some of the nicer areas in the southwest panhandle and you feel like your car is going to bottom out on the road or your car will go airborne with elevated ones. And I'm in total agreement on the Michigan left turns. We have a tendency in this area to cram things into small areas rather than making room for them. So any median on a main road with a U turn lane requires backing up and going forward again if you have anything longer than a midsize car. 

Edited by GRLaker

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23 hours ago, Pattmost20 said:

Cheap Housing, Decent schools. Not super surprised. Since most of the new housing in the city is for rent, and millennials are still buying in the suburbs at a pretty large rate, it makes sense.

I don't think "Millenials" really explains this.  In fact, according to realtor.com's own "generational propensity" map, the top age group buying in 49508 is actually the 45-54 cohort. I think they just tagged the word "Millenial" onto the article to make it a little more flashy.  I suspect it's mostly people moving out of Grand Rapids who want a bigger yard, or people transplanting to the area based on some decades-old perception of Kentwood schools.  Statewide rankings have been on a pretty solid downward trend for decades.

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9 minutes ago, x99 said:

I don't think "Millenials" really explains this.  In fact, according to realtor.com's own "generational propensity" map, the top age group buying in 49508 is actually the 45-54 cohort. I think they just tagged the word "Millenial" onto the article to make it a little more flashy.  I suspect it's mostly people moving out of Grand Rapids who want a bigger yard, or people transplanting to the area based on some decades-old perception of Kentwood schools.  Statewide rankings have been on a pretty solid downward trend for decades.

Yep. Many moons ago, East Kentwood was a blue ribbon school.

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12 minutes ago, x99 said:

I don't think "Millenials" really explains this.  In fact, according to realtor.com's own "generational propensity" map, the top age group buying in 49508 is actually the 45-54 cohort. I think they just tagged the word "Millenial" onto the article to make it a little more flashy.  I suspect it's mostly people moving out of Grand Rapids who want a bigger yard, or people transplanting to the area based on some decades-old perception of Kentwood schools.  Statewide rankings have been on a pretty solid downward trend for decades.

You're right, now that you say that, there's nothing in their methodology that backs up the millennial claim. 

If you want to see a snapshot of the "hotness" index for the entire metro area:

http://public.tableau.com/shared/TRJC3D4MW?:display_count=yes

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1 hour ago, GRLaker said:

Yep. Many moons ago, East Kentwood was a blue ribbon school.

MANY MANY moons ago lol.  I can't imagine that perception has been relevant for a good 20 years.  Certainly not for EKHS.

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Of course, I hate to bring race into real estate but hopefully this is ok.  Not scientific at all, but I know my wife has had several clients who were various minorities who wanted to be in a suburb and Kentwood was their main choice as it's the most diverse suburban district by far.  Just a thought...

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3 hours ago, x99 said:

I don't think "Millenials" really explains this.  In fact, according to realtor.com's own "generational propensity" map, the top age group buying in 49508 is actually the 45-54 cohort. I think they just tagged the word "Millenial" onto the article to make it a little more flashy.  I suspect it's mostly people moving out of Grand Rapids who want a bigger yard, or people transplanting to the area based on some decades-old perception of Kentwood schools.  Statewide rankings have been on a pretty solid downward trend for decades.

I think it's all of the above.  The spread between age groups is pretty balanced, with 45-54 coming out on top. http://public.tableau.com/shared/TTQ2CPN5H?:display_count=yes

To be fair to the article, the "Millenial" tagline was written to apply to the "hottest" markets as a whole, particularly the top 10, not necessarily Kentwood.  Kentwood itself isn't referenced in the article.

To someone moving into GR from a larger city with worse traffic, smaller yards, and more expensive housing, I can see how Kentwood would look really attractive to those people.  Just saying, but if Kentwood city limits are your definition of "gone to crap" (GRLaker's words), then the rest of the country must seem really terrible.

(Full disclosure: I'm a native 49508er)

Edited by RegalTDP
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4 hours ago, RegalTDP said:

To someone moving into GR from a larger city with worse traffic, smaller yards, and more expensive housing, I can see how Kentwood would look really attractive to those people.  Just saying, but if Kentwood city limits are your definition of "gone to crap" (GRLaker's words), then the rest of the country must seem really terrible.

Compared to what that school district's prior performance was, it has undeniably declined based on the performance metrics the state uses.  Is it terrible?  No, but remember this district used to mentioned in the same breath with Forest Hills or Byron Center.  Those days a long gone.  

4 hours ago, mgreven said:

Of course, I hate to bring race into real estate but hopefully this is ok.  Not scientific at all, but I know my wife has had several clients who were various minorities who wanted to be in a suburb and Kentwood was their main choice as it's the most diverse suburban district by far.  Just a thought...

Teh demographics shift in Kentwood has been pretty dramatic.  Schooldigger has a lot of stats.  The school district is now majority minority not just across the district, but in each and every school, including elementary, except for one.  That's remarkable when you realize that just 15 to 20 years ago, Kentwood was basically a whitebread district with a handful of minority students, at best.  Diverse as Kentwood has become, the schools seem to be struggling quite hard to keep up, which is unfortunate.

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At least 2 of the school districts in Wyoming have been majority minority since the 90's.  I think 4 of them now hold that distinction.  It shouldn't be surprising that Kentwood also started gaining that distinction.

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14 hours ago, x99 said:

Compared to what that school district's prior performance was, it has undeniably declined based on the performance metrics the state uses.  Is it terrible?  No, but remember this district used to mentioned in the same breath with Forest Hills or Byron Center.  Those days a long gone.  

Teh demographics shift in Kentwood has been pretty dramatic.  Schooldigger has a lot of stats.  The school district is now majority minority not just across the district, but in each and every school, including elementary, except for one.  That's remarkable when you realize that just 15 to 20 years ago, Kentwood was basically a whitebread district with a handful of minority students, at best.  Diverse as Kentwood has become, the schools seem to be struggling quite hard to keep up, which is unfortunate.

 

Typical case of white flight. It's no coincidence that as this was transpiring, Caledonia's enrollment numbers skyrocketed. Caledonia High School went from being a 900 student school to a 1,500 student school and member of the OK Red Conference in only 15 years. They were an anomaly in that while every district's enrollment numbers went down during the recession, Caledonia somehow still maintained its numbers and some years even grew. Caledonia, Byron Center, and Hudsonville are the new Kentwood, Wyoming, and Grandville/Jenison.  

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2 hours ago, GRLaker said:

 

Typical case of white flight. It's no coincidence that as this was transpiring, Caledonia's enrollment numbers skyrocketed. Caledonia High School went from being a 900 student school to a 1,500 student school and member of the OK Red Conference in only 15 years. They were an anomaly in that while every district's enrollment numbers went down during the recession, Caledonia somehow still maintained its numbers and some years even grew. Caledonia, Byron Center, and Hudsonville are the new Kentwood, Wyoming, and Grandville/Jenison.  

I think it's more of a case of "people with the means flight." Crystal Springs and Bailey's Grove are both full of minority families who fled Grand Rapids neighborhoods/schools/crime and/or just wanted a newer home and a move-up lifestyle like many middle class families want. It's unfortunate though that the middle class lifestyle is more difficult to attain for minority families. That's why it appears to be "white flight." There are definitely some people who move outwards for racist reasons, even if they don't realize it. Then there are those who do it for obvious reasons (they know they are racists and are comfortable with it). 

 

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56 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I think it's more of a case of "people with the means flight." Crystal Springs and Bailey's Grove are both full of minority families who fled Grand Rapids neighborhoods/schools/crime and/or just wanted a newer home and a move-up lifestyle like many middle class families want. It's unfortunate though that the middle class lifestyle is more difficult to attain for minority families. That's why it appears to be "white flight." There are definitely some people who move outwards for racist reasons, even if they don't realize it. Then there are those who do it for obvious reasons (they know they are racists and are comfortable with it). 

 

All very true.

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